New Financial Disclosures Show Kyrsten Sinema Is Raking in Cash from Big GOP Donors

Newly released 2021 financial disclosures show something that, really, we should have expected: Centrist Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is raking in cash from Republican donors, including at least one who’s also been propping up fellow obstructionist Sen. Joe Manchin

According to new FEC filings, Sinema brought in $1.6 million in Q4, only $33,983 of which was unitemized, which designates donations of less than $200 (i.e., ones from ordinary people). Shane Goldmacher of The New York Times pointed out on Twitter that a lot of this big-money donor action comes from some familiar names: Harlan Crow, a massive GOP donor the Texas Tribune called “one of the biggest whales in the country”; Ken Langone, another massive GOP donor who felt “betrayed” by Trump and switched to Biden; Nelson Peltz, the aforementioned Manchin confidante; and Miguel B. “Mike” Fernandez, a Florida health care billionaire who threw his fortune behind Hillary in 2016 after Jeb Bush fizzled out.

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Goldmacher noted that Sinema actually had to refund Crow’s money because he tried to give her too much of it.

Sinema drew money from additional Republican megadonors like financier George Roberts, groups like the American Petroleum Institute, and companies like Fox News, whose political action committee, Fox Corp. PAC, gave her $5,000. Manchin has also received money from Fox Corp. PAC.

You can draw your own conclusions as to what these donors think they’ll get out of Sinema. It’s a foregone one that whatever challenge progressive Democrats manage to mount against her, Sinema is going to be insulated from any consequences of her time in the Senate even if she does get voted out of office. Based on her campaign coffers this early in the election cycle (she’s not up until 2024!), it looks like she’ll have a hefty war chest to take on potential primary challenges like Rep. Ruben Gallego if they come knocking. 

Thus far, it’s been incredibly easy to track the long line of special interest groups backing Sinema: She’s voted in their interests as often as she can. Sinema previously raked in cash from Big Pharma groups, and then went on to be the industry’s leading proponent in their fight against prescription drug pricing reform. Langone, best known for pulling together financiers to found Home Depot, raises the humorous dilemma of the man behind a home improvement empire funding one of the biggest spoilers of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. There certainly isn’t a lot of building of any kind going on with Sinema in the Senate. 

In essence, Sinema is the purest example of a safe representative for America’s cautious corporate interests. While Trump’s brand of fiery fascist-populism may be a bit too volatile, the country’s corporate elite have not-so-quietly thrown their lot behind politicians they know will keep any of Biden’s scant progressive inclinations at bay while providing them with the stability to retain control over the country. The worst that happens is that Biden loses, or one of their hand-picked mouthpieces gets booted out of the Senate. As all these names have shown time and time again, there will always be another ambitious politician looking for a handout. 

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